What Is Open Hearth Cooking?

November 16, 2020 11:36 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

The events of the past year or so have caused a lot of us to rethink entire aspects of our home lives. We’ve spent more time indoors and with our families than we probably ever thought possible, which has prompted a lot of introspection. Our life in the kitchen is a big part of this—for example, everyone has heard about someone else’s “sourdough starter” by now, for example. One technique that’s also gaining popularity is open hearth cooking in Seattle, WA. Traditionally associated with barbecues in our modern society, cooking over an open flame produces juicy flavors unlike anything you’ve ever had before.

The fire

Open hearth cooking in Seattle, WA is the act of roasting meat (anything from beef to pork to poultry) near an open flame. It’s the oldest cooking technique known to humans, and the product can be a variety of flavors you’ll never want to go back from. These “roasts” used to be known as baked meats, but the idea is the same.

The fire needs to be carefully managed—hardwoods like ash, oak, hickory or dogwood are the best ones to use. These will generate an even heat that ensures you can gauge the temperature and not overcook or undercook portions of the meat. They should be coals, rather than open flames, because those are also easier to maneuver and manage.

The techniques

Cooking in this manner of course requires a hearth, which in most modern homes will be a brick fireplace or even an exterior fire pit. There are many ways to cook using the embers and coals, but one thing to remember is that juices can stain the hearth, so if you want to keep yours clean, it’s best to lay foil underneath. There are a number of tools you can use to contain the food—there are small ovens or cast-iron appliances like kettles and pans. At its most simple, you can just put a griddle or a grate over the coals and array foods like oysters or cuts of meat.

The flavors

Fireplace cooking in Seattle, WA produces flavors that many people find superior to those produced in other modern methods of cooking. First and foremost, the smoke from an actual fire adds a taste many people find irresistible. Furthermore, the slow roasting can add a crust that offers an interesting texture that’s satisfying to cut through and chew. Simply put, most people we speak to find that open hearth cooking just creates richer and bolder flavors. Part of this is surely due to the fire itself, but a lot of it can probably be attributed to the renewed connection to your food that you’ll feel by cooking in such a primitive manner.

Open hearth cooking in Seattle, WA is easier than you probably think it is. If you think this is something you’d like to try, Custom Fire Art can help you get started. We install all manner of outdoor kitchens and barbecues that will give you a renewed appreciation for the joy of cooking. Reach out to schedule a consultation.

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